It’s easy to focus on high-tech devices when considering the best video games available today. Top-tier smartphones, expensive consoles, and now VR headsets are generally viewed as the best tools for gamers.
While this is often the case, however, modern gamers also shouldn’t overlook good old-fashioned internet browsers. Even in the face of all the incredible experiences, we can enjoy on the aforementioned devices, there are still tons of browser-based games that are a lot of fun.
Truthfully, one could dedicate an entire website to highlighting worthwhile titles from the sprawling world of browser gaming. But as far as we’re concerned, these are some of the best ones to spend your time on.
Top 10 Best Games You Can Play in Your Browser
While RuneScape didn’t quite make our previous list of the best open-world games available today, it should certainly make any list of the most charming. A free-to-play MMORPG that came out back in 2001, this remains many people’s pick as the best gaming experience you can get in a browser.
It’s set in a sprawling fantasy world, it can be played virtually endlessly, and there’s just something about it that’s beautifully old school and utterly timeless at the same time.
2. The Helicopter Game
For more of an arcade-style browser experience, countless people have turned to The Helicopter Game for decades now. This game is about as simple as it gets: A helicopter is moving along a scrolling 2D tunnel, and you can click your mouse button to make it go up, and let go to let it fall.
That’s the whole game, but avoiding obstacles and trying to make it farther each time is somehow wildly entertaining.
Wonderputt can’t be described any better than it was by a TouchArcade review years ago: “polymorphic putt-putt painting worth playing.” This is a suitably whimsical way to label a game that’s about as eccentric and beautiful a putt-putt experience as has ever been crafted.
Today, one might think of it as a sort of combination of standard arcade putting games and geometric puzzles like Monument Valley. However you think of it though, it’s one of the best browser games out there (even if we wish it would last a bit longer).
4. A Dark Room
There are a lot of text-based role-playing games online. In fact, there are a lot of great ones. But there’s a reason A Dark Room tends to be singled out among them.
There’s just something really artful about the way this particular text adventure has been crafted, and if you’ve never played it before we highly recommend you give it a shot. You’re in for a mysterious, challenging, and almost bizarrely engaging experience.
5. Game Of Bombs
Game Of Bombs is basically a browser-based knock-off of Bomberman. If that’s not a familiar title to you, it’s perhaps best described as a combination puzzle and combat game in which you can roam around a maze-like grid and place bombs to open up paths and disrupt other players.
Game Of Bombs turns the game into an MMO experience, which ultimately makes it even more fun than Bomberman (even if it’s lacking the character and vague story touches associated with the console game)
We’d be remiss if we went through a whole list of great browser games without a nod or two to the casino slot arcades that have taken the internet by storm in recent years. In the simplest of terms, slots have gotten much better, thanks to a fresh focus on animation, 3D graphics, and content that looks more like modern video games (and less like penny slots at ‘70s casinos).
Aureus is a brand new title that’s been introduced prominently on Foxy Games and is likely on its way to massive exposure. It’s a beautifully animated modern slot with an Olympian theme, and it looks to have vaulted to the top of its genre immediately.
The gameplay, graphics, and little amusing touches (like a Zeus character who does things when you click on him) make it an excellent new addition to a crowded category.
7. Buffalo Blitz
Buffalo Blitz is the other slot arcade we’ve chosen to single out. It’s actually featured alongside Aureus on the aforementioned Foxy Games platform, though in this case, it’s also more widely visible. Buffalo Blitz has been around for a bit and is a popular game across casino platforms.
It’s a little simpler than Aureus, but its wildlife-inspired Old West vibe is one that players seem to appreciate almost universally.
Spelunky has actually become known as a game featured on Steam and playable on some major consoles. But it’s a thoroughly retro adventure and one that’s available as a browser experience as well.
In this game, you control a small adventurer journeying through heavily pixellated 2D caverns and caves, avoiding various traps and dangers and gathering as much treasure as you can manage. It has a simple look to it, but it’s a delight to play — one of those old-school arcades that just gets everything right.
On pure quality and impact, Doom would be higher on our list. It’s a shooter people have loved for decades, as well as one that one write-up suggested shaped not only the shooting genre but potentially “all of gaming.” And even if modern games (including a Doom remake) have far outstripped this one-of-a-kind original in graphics and scope, there’s still something fun about the original.
Just as many feels are the case regarding GoldenEye 007 on Nintendo 64, the vintage feel is part of what makes it great. Because Doom isn’t exclusively a browser game though, we’ve left it a bit low on our list.
10. Pokémon Red & Blue
Here too, the game itself (or games) is better than 10th place. The argument can be made — fairly easily — that the original Pokémon far surpasses any browser game, and almost any video game, from the past 25 years.
But we’re mentioning it last because it’s really not a browser game in the strictest sense. There is (sadly) no Pokémon-dot-com where you can simply load up Red or Blue and re-live your childhood.
But because there are numerous high-quality emulators that allow you to boot up the game on your computer, all the same, we decided it could qualify as a browser game to round out the list!